Is the Kenyan Judiciary on a spiritual journey?

On 20th May 2022, the judiciary held it’s inaugural Day of Prayer and Fasting, coinciding with Martha Koome’s first anniversary as CJ. The theme of the day was God loves righteousness and justice, from Psalms 33:5. Clergy from different religions were present at the event that was held at the supreme court and simultaneously in courts across the country.

In the opening remarks, one of the judges said, “We are gathered in this solemn assembly to seek the face of God concerning the affairs of the judiciary.” She read 2 Chronicles 7:14, upon which they had gathered to pray for the healing of the judiciary.

“We have come to worship him, bring our thanksgiving, petitions and repentance…. praying for the election because the weight of the country rests on the shoulders of the judiciary,” she added.

In the event the CJ said, “the choice of commemorating this day through prayer is informed by the fact that none of us can do anything of significance, let alone succeed in the enormous project of institution building and social transformation without support of others and most importantly without the grace of the Almighty God.”

Barely a week later, on 26th May 2022, at the National Prayer Breakfast, the CJ’s prayer was specific and poignant. I quote a part of it.

“Almighty Father, I prayer for the institutions involved in the electoral process to discharge their mandate with integrity, with honesty and fidelity to the constitution and our laws. I pray against the evil spirit of corruption during voting. I pray against the spirit of fraud and deceit. I pray that electoral justice shall prevail and the best candidates will be the ones who will carry the day”

“Those who will steal the elections, Father, you will smoke them out”

She wasn’t done, “Our heavenly father, provide your light that shines all the time and sees where mere mortals cannot see. Let your light guide us. Let your light shine in all our institutions and in the hearts of those who serve as state officers and all involved in the administration of elections. I pray that all institutions of governance will be guided by you father…”

As the country waited for the election petition judgement, a clip with this prayer was shared a lot on the socials.

Prayer and fasting at Makadara Law Courts

Before that judgement, a Christian revival event, dubbed Rhema Feast was held at Kasarani between 24th and 26th August 2022. It was attended by over 70,000 people and followed by hundreds of thousands online.

The supreme court and judiciary were prayed for in that event, represented by several Court of Appeal and High Court judges.

At the end of the election petition hearing at the Supreme Court, the Deputy CJ Philomena Mwilu asked for prayers as the judges retreated to write their judgement.

On 7th September, two days after the supreme court ruling, the CJ Martha Koome was attending a funeral service for her late aunt in Imenti North where she made some interesting comments that have become controversial in some political quarters. Everyone seems to have interpreted those sentiments in their own way.

She said, “This (judgement) was for the sake of independence of institutions, especially the Judiciary. It was not due to our might or power as a court but because of the faithful God that we serve.”

Only the CJ and the judges know what was going on behind the scenes to prompt such a statement but I can not help but see it as a result of the events that preceded it, going as far as the day of prayer and fasting and maybe even further behind.

It’s possible that the events listed above are random and uncoordinated. People say a lot of words they don’t mean. People pray a lot of prayers they don’t believe. But when you see some level of consistency and pattern in word and thought backed by actions, you have to sit back and consider its significance and implications.

Some people see the CJ’s comments as overreferencing God, over spiritualizing matters, putting too much religion in our government affairs. Some are even citing Christian nationalism.

But if there’s a place you want God, it is at the judiciary. Of course you need God in every arm of the government, but the judiciary is where the forces of darkness are active and relentless in pursuit of injustice and inequality. God loves justice and righteousness. Once that permeates into the hearts of judges, a country of fairness is the result and God’s blessings follow.

It will take a while to root out corruption in the judiciary, it might not even be uprooted completely. Nonetheless, any effort to fight it; be it moral, structural and even spiritual should be applauded and encouraged.

At the Judiciary National Day of Prayer and Fasting, the CJ also said that, “Everybody wants to experience justice, everybody wants to be treated with dignity, everybody wants to experience fairness. Courts must function as fountains and temples of justice.”

“Judges and judicial officers must act as the bridge between the lofty aspirations contained in the constitution and the lived reality of our people.”

Delightful and encouraging words and prayers whose fruits the country awaits.

Isaiah 1:17 says that we should learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

If you believe the judiciary is on to something, pray for them. If you don’t, pray for them even more.

Leave a Reply